Heracles Almelo 0 v 2 ADO Den Haag
On Saturday evening ADO travelled to Heracles of Almelo, a team they have not done too badly against in the past few years. ADO was given a great lift after last week’s performance against Heerenveen, plus they had some of their bigger players back in the starting eleven. The question was, would the return of so called top players help or hinder the play?
At the stadium, the small band of ADO followers produced a flag giving sympathy to Ebi Smolarek whose father died earlier this week; the players also wore black arm bands in support of their colleague.
It only took ADO five minutes to take the lead. A back pass by Heracles defender Antoine van der Linden to his keeper Remko Pasveer was cleared badly, straight to the feet of Toornstra who could not believe his luck as he simply slotted the ball home into an empty net, 0-1.
Heracles dominated the rest of the half and kept ADO on the back foot, but no matter what they did, they could not break through the ADO defence. When they did breach the ADO backline they were up against an inspired Coutinho in the ADO goal.
Gino Coutinho stalked his goal line like a prowling cat and reacted like one in the twelfth minute to divert a header from Everton Ramos da Silva away to safety. On the half hour Coutinho produced yet another outstanding save as he clawed the ball away from underneath the crossbar to prevent a certain goal and was alert enough to put off Willie Overtoom at the near post to force his shot wide.
ADO managed to keep the lead at the half time break. It was a good hard working performance by the entire team. Listening to Heracles fans and other journalists; most thought that if the game continued in the same way, Heracles would get back on equal terms before going on to win the match.
The second half was an up hill struggle for ADO; Heracles had at least 70% of the possession and got full control of the midfield battles. Kum and Omeruo were giants in the ADO defence, really putting their bodies on the line.
Coutinho made another series of stunning saves throughout the half, notably from Overtoom as he threw himself full stretch to turn the ball over the bar one handed, even the home support applauded that effort.
Frustration was getting to the home side and in the seventy eighth minute when a melee erupted most players from both teams after a coming together of Chery and Mark Looms. The referee, Maarten Ketting; who’d had a superb game throughout, remained sensible and issued only yellow cards to the original protagonists.
In the eighty third minute ADO sealed their victory. A long ball by Toornstra to Vicento, who was just in an onside position, saw the ADO player calmly lob Pasveer as he rushed out to defend his goal. It seemed to take an age before the ball finally rolled across the line. ADO had really done a smash and grab on their hosts.
It was by no means a great performance by ADO, but it was a solid performance. The arrival of Kenneth Omeruo has added the steel that was missing previously. Kum has settled in well to the job of captain. Immers is fighting and running like a man possessed for the club he loves, after a lull in his performances earlier this year. I am very pleased to say that ADO look to be getting back on track.
Attendance: 8, 402
ADO man of the match: Gino Coutinho, a string of world class saves.